Copyright Piacere - Food & Travel without rules! 2019 - Theme by ThemeinProgress
The pebble-paved streets wind through Haut-de-Cagnes’ narrow alleyways past stone houses, artist’s studios, restaurants and a few shops. The Chateau Grimaldi, a fort built around the 1300 dominates the village overlooking the sea. Replicas of canvases by well-known artists who painted this romantic place are stationed at the locations of the scene. The clay colors of the roof tiles, grays of stone walls, colorful vines creeping up the sides of the ancient buildings seem to be growing where ever they can find a little earth. Haut-de-Cagnes is a heritage site, classified as a “Monument of France”.
When I first walked up the pebble streets some 30 years ago, I thought I was stepping into a Renior canvas. Brush strokes and pallet knives created this village from the imagination of a genius painter I thought. Of course it must be, because Renoir lived and worked in Les Colette just around the corner from Haut-de-Cagnes. The panorama over the hills and blue Mediterranean gave him inspiration and his canvases reflect the colors and vegetation of the region. So this must be where I am, in one of his paintings. Then, when I came back to reality, I saw that Haut-de-Cagnes was a real place, with real people, and real stone buildings and flowers and I was going to stay here forever. Well I almost did and have visited it many times.
Painters lived in this region of France such as Picasso, Chagall, Monet, Erté, Rodin, Bonnard, Matisse and Modigliani who spent time with Renoir – just to name a few. All conspired and enjoyed each other’s company in this medieval world. The village reflects the romanticism of the past and you wander through the streets appreciating the beauty that they saw. Today you can visit Renoir’s home, now a museum where you can see why he was in love with Cagnes-sur-Mer.
In recent years there has been a revitalization of Cagnes-sur-Mer and in many ways it has improved along the sea. A boardwalk goes on for miles all the way to Nice. Restoration of the beaches and buildings has brought new life with little seaside restaurants that serve both French and Italian specialties. The city is charming in the area of the market place where people seem to be stationed all the time in the café’s. Maybe they are really sculptures by Renior who probably joined in this typically French pastime of café life. Sometimes I feel they are purposely placed there so visitors think that relaxing and drinking espresso or a glass of wine is all people do here. There are many new apartments in the center of the city, which I suppose is to be expected, and in some ways nicer architecture then some other towns. The town has all the shopping you need with outdoor markets and excellent boulangeries. Years ago it was possible to find small boulangeries and boucherie (butcher shops) in Haut-de- Cagnes, but they are long gone. Many foreigners have bought apartments and live part-time here making it difficult for small shops to survive. But they have also renovated the apartments and have played a role in keeping the village alive and free from commercialism.
There is a parking lot in Cagnes-sur-Mer, a paid parking garage in Haute-de-Cagnes and parking along the streets, but the chances of finding parking is slim. The public parking lot in Cagnes-sur-Mer is a quarter the price of the parking garage and with very good bus service to Haute-de-Cagnes. The shuttle bus leaves every 15 minutes from June to September from the Castle and can be taken from several places along the route to Cagnes-sur-Mer. From here you can catch buses to other destinations along the Côte d’Azur. The shuttle is free and the bus service is inexpensive and a good alternative considering the lack of parking in Nice or Cannes.
By some stroke of luck Haut-de-Cagnes has survived tourism. You quickly appreciate this when you visit St. Paul de Vence. It hurts to think that such a beautiful village that inspired so many famous artists is now a big commercial mess. The people of Haut-de-Cagnes and all those who settled there saved this magical place from the sickness that takes over when people only see dollar signs. This could have easily happened here, but instead it has stayed the same and you feel like you are going home every time you visit. This is the village where I could easily see myself getting lost in forever and many new residents have. It’s simplicity and charm just carry you through life as though you have nothing else to worry about except stepping around the palate knife and paint strokes that created it.
Vence and St Jennet are easily reached and are a nice side trip. Vence has done a lot of restoration and in fact has replaced its fountains with ones dating back to its origins. Many guests visit the perfume factories in Grasse. Collectors search for perfume bottles that are now collectables at some of the weekly outdoor markets.
I will only mention two restaurants in the village and one in Cagnes-sur-Mer that we found worth visiting. Le Fleur de Sel we did not visit because it was closed for vacation, we have dined here in the past and I was told that it was good and under new management.
You won’t find many restaurants in the village but a few stand out. Chef Stephane Francolino, owner of Entre Cour et Jardin, told us that many Italians fled to France during WWII and settled in the region mostly in Grasse to work at the perfume factories. Since we had just come from Dolceacqua, Italy, his hometown, it was an interesting connection for us. The region’s culture is intermingled with Italy and its cuisine reflects this. Entre Cour et Jardin is a lovely little restaurant decorated in the style of the village with paintings adorning its walls and in one corner a typical French fireplace. The chef’s menu reflects his love of travel and his creativeness in combining his roots with his cooking. He is the cook, waiter and owner and takes pride in his relationships with his customers, who he calls his family. Stephane and his restaurant are as enchanting as the village and exactly what one would expect to find here.
Thank you Stephane for this lovely recipe.
Entre Cour et Jardin
102 Montée de la Bourgade
06800 Haut de Cagnes
Tel: 04 93 20 72 27
Fax: 04 93 20 61 01
Crème de foie gras et fruits
(Cream of goose liver and fruits)
Yield: 40 glasses
Bake: 15 minutes @ 212ºF
250 g (9 oz.) of stuffed goose liver terrine
1 egg yoke
90 cl. (3 1/4 oz.) cream
Pimient d’esplette (Basque chili pepper)
Mix all the ingredients.
Put a raspberry and some raspberry coulis (puréed and strained raspberries) at the bottom of the glass, and then add the preparation.
Bake approximately 15 minutes in the oven at 100º C (212º F)
Put them in a cool place for 2 hours. They can be refrigerated for a few days.
La Goutte d’Eau
108 Montée de la Bourgade
06800 Le Haut de Cagnes
Phone: 04 93 20 81 23
La Goutte d’Eau has contributed a wonderful typically French “tarte au citron”. I will test the recipe and post it at a later date. I loved it because it has a light citron flavor, not overwhelming, with an Italian meringue topping. The little outdoor eating area is very pleasant in the evening and owners run back and forth to the restaurant to serve its guests outdoors. They are fun and it is a casual restaurant with an atmosphere so typically French.
23, Place Sainte Luce
06800 Cagnes Sur Mer
The restaurant is located next to the left of public parking lot in Cagnes-sur-mer. Its contemporary setting is a surprise, as the outside looks quite old with a small outdoor terrace seating area. The food was very good and even on what one would have considered an off night; it was completely booked with locals.
Le Cagnard Hotel
Rue Sous Barri
06800 Le Haut de Cagnes, France
Le Cagnard Hotel, our choice for many years has come upon some difficult times. Still beautiful, it’s one time one star Michelin restaurant has been closed. But I remember my first encounter with Madam Barel showing me each of the 4 rooms and 2 apartments so that I could choose my favorite room (They have many more rooms now). There were huge tulips on top of the antique chest and on stools placed around the hotel. It had a small elevator that never seemed to stop at the right floor and has a beautiful restaurant with its painted ceiling tiles (now opens to view the stars). I remember the New Years Eve we spent here with a fire glowing in the large fireplace and the huge selection of chèvre for dessert. This is where I was introduced to chèvre. On our 10th anniversary of visiting Le Cagnard, Madam came into the dinning room as we were having breakfast and insisted that we join her for a bottle of champagne to celebrate our 10 years of visiting her. We never made it back to Switzerland that day and she has remained in our memories of Haut-de-Cagnes. This year we opted to rent an apartment which we find a more interactive and interesting way to enjoy a place that is a home away from home.
Impressions of Haut-de-Cagnes, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Vence, St. Paul-de-Vence, Saint-Jeannet
Since I have so many hits for this recipe during the holidays , I decided to post it again. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy my Uncle Vic’s recipe.
Every year on Christmas Eve, we gathered at Uncle Vic’s house for our traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner. As family and friends arrived, he would greet them with a cup of his famous Glugg. The aroma of Glugg filled the house with the wonderful scent of spices. Coming in from the cold New England winter and greeted with a warm cup of Glugg instantly made you feel that you were home. With the fire glowing in the fireplace and the family gathered around snatching a piece of fried fish, the festivities began.
He always had the biggest Christmas tree that he cut down himself. Covered with old antique ornaments and everyone’s gifts stacked under the tree, we could hardly get into the living room. The house was open to anyone who didn’t have a place to go and filled with fun as each person arrived bring their homemade biscotti as everyone gathered around to see them being added to our dessert table.
He handmade all the ornaments that were placed outside and inside the house. Christmas was his time to give his family a memorable evening. We carry on this tradition to this day, passing our traditions to our children and remembering those who taught them to us.
The original recipe came from a friend of my uncles and over many years he tweaked it and made it his own. My uncle has long passed, but his daughter and granddaughter continue this tradition and we toast Uncle Vic every Christmas Eve with his famous Glugg.
Uncle Vic prepared bottles of Glugg and presented everyone who visited during the Holiday’s with a bottle to take home. This recipe is best started a few weeks in advance as you want the spices to meld together creating a rich aroma.
The effort of preparing a homemade gift to present to friends is a special way saying Happy Holiday’s and this spicy wine really hits the spot on a cold snowy night.
Uncle Victor’s Old Fashioned Glugg
Cook Time: 30 minutes on high, 10 minutes on medium heat
Yield: 2 1/4 gallons
2 oranges sliced
3 oz. dried prunes
1 lb. seedless raisins
6 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cardamom seeds
12 -14 whole cloves
1 large can frozen grape juice
1 gal. Port wine
1 gal. Rose wine
1/2 gal 80-100 proof grain alcohol (80 proof vodka may be substituted)
1 quart cranberry juice (optional)
OTHER THINGS NEEDED
Cheesecloth approx. 24” by 24”
Place the orange slices, frozen grape juice, raisins, prunes, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds and cloves in a large saucepan. Add just enough water to cover. Boil the mixture until the raisins are plump with liquid; about 30 minutes on high. Add small amounts of water as the water reduces from boiling. You may also add some Port wine to enhance the taste of the fruit if you plan to use it to compliment a dessert or ice cream.
Let the fruit mixture cool and then place the cheesecloth in a large strainer to cover the inside and overlap the top. Carefully pour the mixture through the cheesecloth to remove sediment. This will have to be done a few times until the liquid is clear of sediment. Set aside the fruit.
Return the liquid to the large saucepan. Over medium heat, add the Port and Rose wines and the vodka and stir. Taste to see if it needs more sugar and add according to taste. You can add the cranberry juice if you like a more tart flavor. Heat the mixture until it is warmed through; approximately 10 minutes.
DO NOT BOIL.
Your Glugg is ready to be served. Enjoy!
• Glugg can be reheated anytime
• Save empty wine and liquor bottles for storage of leftover Glugg.
NOTE: Left over fruit may be turned into a delicious Holiday preserve.
This year’s harvest is in full swing in the Bünder Herrschaft.
Last year I had the fortune of photographing Jürg Obrecht and his team harvest and process the grapes.
With urgency and passion, the activity was intense as the temperature in the evening was beginning to drop.
Not a minute could be wasted in getting the grapes into the crushers and vats.
The moment to harvest is decided with experience, gut and closely watching the weather.
Jürg took over his father’s winery (Weinbau & Weinhandel) in 1997. Along with his young family he built a team of talented people to develop and create innovative and traditional wines.
Added to the production of his own 17 acres of vineyards he buys the harvest from another 50 acres of vineyards in Jenins and Maienfeld.
Surrounded by spectacular views of the Alps he produces excellent and award winning red and white wines.
Jürg modernized his production with the newest techniques and equipment to generate top quality wines.
Eighty percent of the grapes he grows are Pinot Noir, the rest are mainly Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Sylvaner.
I thank Jürg and his team for tolerating my camera and me and for the lovely glass of wine.
It was hard to shoot and drink at the same time, but as always I found a way and completely enjoyed the experience.
For more information of the Fünf Dörfer – The 5 villages along the Wine Route of Maienfeld Switzerland
I have written several posts in the recent weeks with recipes that make great gifts. Giving something you have spent your time and effort on is always a great way to show people the importants of their friendship. During the holidays I prepare several of my favorite recipes-those that lend themselves to the spirit of the holidays and prepare gift packages for each of my friends.
Buying different dishes from flea markets for example or funky containers can be fun to search for during the year. You can also cover boxes with textiles or glue wrapping paper and items you find at a craft store to make your own unique packaging
I make my own greeting cards with photo’s that represent the items I include in my gift and print them on a photo internet site. Print out the recipe in colored script and rolled them up, tied with a ribbon. If I am using a bottle of lemomcello – I add small cordial glasses. With Crocante con Mandorle (Italian almond brittle), I might find a nice candy dish at a flea market, or package it in clear cello bags. Many craft shops or restaurant supply stores have items like this and if you keep an eye open for them year round you can buy them when they have sales and store them away for your holiday gifts. Handwrite your labels, or design your own label on an Internet site. It is easy and fun to have your own label on your homemade items.
Here are some of my suggestions from past posts that you might consider for a special Christmas gift.
Crocante con Mandorle – Italian Almond Brittle
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes or until the thermometer reaches 238ºF, hard crack stage
Yield: 2 pounds
4 cups whole almonds, roasted
3 cups sugar
4 drops almond oil or
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light corn syrup
OTHER THINGS NEEDED
TOASTING THE ALMONDS
Heat the oven to 400ºF. Place the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them until lightly golden brown (about 15 minutes) and set aside.
PREPARE THE COOKIE SHEET
Prepare a separate baking sheet and brush it with almond oil or 1 teaspoon almond extract. If you have a Teflon baking mat, place it on the baking sheet and brush it with the almond oil. If you are using extract, first brush the sheet with butter.
COOKING THE BRITTLE
In a medium or heavy-bottom saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook over medium-high heat until it registers 238ºF on a candy thermometer (hard crack stage). When the sugar and water turn to liquid add the honey and corn syrup and 2 drops of almond oil or 1 teaspoon of extract (almond oil is stronger). If you don’t have a candy thermometer, use a glass of cold water and after about 15 minutes, drop a little of the syrup into the cold water. If it turns into a hard ball the candy is done. If not, keep cooking it and testing the syrup until you get a hard ball. Do not stir; brush the sugar crystals from the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water when necessary. This will prevent hard crystals from dropping into the candy. Once the sugar begins to brown, watch carefully and remove from the heat as soon as it reaches the desired golden deep copper color.
Immediately add the toasted almonds into the candy and stir quickly to coat them. They should be completely covered with the syrup. Work very fast at this point, as the candy will begin to cool and turn hard. Spread the brittle quickly to an even thickness in the pan. Let the almond brittle cool completely and then break it into pieces by dropping the sheet on the counter. At this point you can wrap each piece in cellophane wrapping paper or serve on a candy dish.
Note: Whole almonds are used in Italy and I find more flavorful. Sliced almonds are easier to eat; it is a matter of taste. This brittle is very hard. Roasted hazelnuts are also used in this recipe.
Veneto is the third most important region in Italy in terms of the quantity of cherries produced. The others are Puglia and Campania. Over 15 varieties are cultivated in the IGP district. They are harvested from the end of May to the end of June. The Festa della ciliegia, Sandra, Italy (Sandra Cherry Festival) is held during the first or second weekend of June (check the tourist office for exact dates). Last year we visited Montebelluna during June and feasted on beautiful cherries for breakfast and picked them off the trees at our hotel during the day as we enjoyed our afternoons at the pool.
The climate is suited to viniculture and orchards are grown along side the vineyards producing peaches, kiwi, plums, apples, and apricots and of course cherries. Marostica cherries are large, deep in color, sweet and firm. During this time of year you can stop and buy large baskets of them in stands alongside the road.
This region is well known for the Prosecco vineyards but also for Grappa. The Poli Distillery has a museum with the history of distillation of Grappa in Bassano del Grappa where we made it a point of tasting Grappa. We tried some unusual ones such as chocolate, coffee and strawberry Grappas. I found them a little sweet and preferred the Mascato, Cabernet and Merlot Grappa.
Grappa has been made commercially since the eighteenth century. A colorless, high-alcohol eau de vie is distilled from pomace-the residue (grape skins and seeds) left in the wine press after the juice is removed for wine. There are hundreds of highly individual, markedly different styles of Grappa, which have wonderful character and depth. The flavor is determined by the variety of grapes used. There are also aged Grappas, some so complex that they’re aged in a series of different woods including acacia, oak, birch, and juniper. The ultimate Grappa is a golden-colored. Grappa usually is about 40% alcohol. In Italy it can be found at 90º alcohol.
Living in a wine growning region, we see piles of grape skins ready to be distilled at the end of the grape harvest. Often the distilation column is set up along side the winery and we have even seen them along roadsides where locals can bring their grape skins to be distilled. Many people make their own liquors at home from lemoncello to fruits put up in liquor such as Ciliegie Sotto Spirito.
If you have never had Ciliegie Sotto Spirito, you are in for a treat. It is very easy to make and serving a few cherries in a large brandy glass along with the beautiful red colored Grappa to friends after a dessert as a special treat adds a very lovely touch to end of dinner. I use Grappa to make Ciliegie Sotto Spirito, but other liquors can be substituted.
Ciliegie Sotto Spirito
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 1/2 gallon
2 lbs. of fresh dark sweet cherries
4/5 quart Grappa, or other liquor of your choice
Distilled water, optional
OTHER THINGS NEEDED
1/2 gallon latched glass jar with a rubber gasket seal
Wash the cherries and remove the stones (removing the stones is optional; however I find that the absorption of liquor is better). On the other hand, the cherries will become mushy in time. If you want the cherries to hold their shape, do not remove the stones but crush the cherries slightly with the flat part of a knife. This will allow more absorption but they will hold their shape better.
Place the cherries in a large latched glass jar with a rubber gasket seal. Fill the jar with the Grappa leaving as little room for air as possible. Seal tightly and place it in a dark cool place.
If you want to reduce the strength, or to make it sweeter, add some sugar to the distilled water and heat it until the sugar has melted making sugar syrup and add it to the Grappa. With 40% alcohol this step is not necessary; however this is a matter of taste. The sweetness of the cherries is sufficient and the flavor is natural.
Allow the cherries and Grappa to stand for at least 4-8 weeks before drinking it. The longer you let it macerate, the stronger the taste will be and the pigments of the fruit will deepen the color.
Note: Pour into smaller bottles. Design your own label for your homemade Ciliegie Sotto Spirito. You will have a very special gift to give to friends and family.
Note: Other types of liquor can also be used such as high quality vodka, Kirsch, and brandy.
In Italy there are many alcoholic drinks that are favorites as a digestive. To name a few are Grappa, Moscato, Vino Santo and Prosecco for example. But Limoncello has become one of the world’s favorites in recent years. Although it was well know in Italy, the world has gotten to know the deep yellow after-dinner drink of Limoncello recently. Prior to that it was produced in small productions and mainly drunk in Italy.
Although many areas of Italy produce Limoncello today, it originated in Sorrento. The “oval” Sorrentino – the denomination of geographic Indication (IGP) was granted in November of 2000 and can be found on the bottles from the Sorrento region. This IGP of the Sorrento lemons opened up a whole new commercial opportunity for the area. The lemons grown in this area originally were exported, but today about 40% are sold for fresh consumption and 60% are used to make Limoncello. The Sorrento lemons are medium-large, with a thick, rough, light-yellow skin, an intense aroma and are rich in essential oils. They have a pleasant flavor with a low number of seeds. The key for Limoncello is the oil in the skin and the color of the skin, as it is just the rind that flavors and gives the rich yellow color to the liquor. The maceration of the peel with alcohol and sugar slowly develops the aroma and color.
The unique fresh taste and the aroma of Limoncello is an excellent digestive served cold. Especially after a meal with strong flavors, Limoncello refreshes the palate. The bottles are stored in the freezer and I also put the glasses in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so before serving.
Many Italians make Limoncello themselves. Along the Almalfi coast there is hardly a house that doesn’t have lemons growing in their garden.
Limoncello is used to flavor gelati and cakes, poured over fruit and can be used with shrimp or other fish dishes.
I make Limoncello once a year and store it in our wine cellar – keeping one bottle in the freezer ready for a digestive. I have prepared bottles as gifts to give friends who come to visit or for Christmas gifts. Very small bottles can be made as favors for a wedding or parties. One recipe goes a long way. It is a different idea that makes people really happy.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: N/A
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
9 large lemons
4/5th bottle Vodka
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Wash the lemons and using a vegetable peeler remove the skins making sure that you do not remove the white part of the lemon.
In a large jar, place the skins and the vodka and seal tightly. Place the bottle in a cool location for 3 weeks or more.
Remove the lemon skins, strain the liquid and add the sugar and water. Allow the mixture to stand outside the refrigerator for about 2 days or until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the Limoncello into bottles and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
When serving Limoncello put the glasses in the freezer for about 10 minutes and pour the Limoncello into the ice cold glass.
I make Limoncello to give to my very best friends and family for Christmas gifts. Create your own label – they will appreciate that you took the time to make such a special gift.
For those who would like to read the history and legends of Lemoncello, view the following web site.
The story of coffee began in the East, in about 400 B.C. The first coffee traders were the inhabitants of Ethiopia. The trade then moved to the southernmost part of the Arabian Peninsula. Later, Yemen became the nerve center for the coffee trade. There are many legends telling of the origins of coffee, historic, religious, popular, each of them with varying degrees of popularity.
In the West, coffee first became popular in Venice. It is believed that the first coffee shop opened in 1640. It was an instant success and both the coffee “Bar” and the beverage spread to every Italian city.
Drinking expresso is a phenomenon marked by a ritual in Italy.
The Italian name for a bartender is “barista”. A bartender is considered a profession in Italy and is the professional operator of an expresso machine. A pre-warmed demitasse is a small cup used for espresso. The foam floating on the top of the coffee is called “crema”.
The Italian Bar is the center of social life in Italy. It is where Italians have their breakfast that mostly consists of a cappuccino with a sweet roll usually filled with jam. The bars also serve freshly squeezed orange juice, pastries, small sandwiches, liquors and sometimes gelati. Italians drop in several times a day for an expresso and meet for a glass of wine after work. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and filled with the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans. The Italian Bar is a way of life; it is everyone’s living room or office where friends meet and business is conducted. You are never alone in Italy because there is always a bar close by. If the tables are occupied, and you see a free seat, you simply ask if it is free and join the others at the table. One always pays for their order first at the “Cassa”. You can sit all day in a bar if you wish without ever being asked to order anything else. Scurrying waiters deliver “expressi” from local bar’s balancing trays in one hand to offices in the surrounding area. The activity is constant and the common link is the “espresso”.
On a recent visit to Modena, although it was a cool day, people wrapped in coats and scarves sat outside sipping their espresso. Weather does not interrupt the coffee “pausa”. It almost seems as if drinking expresso is an addiction, but it is a lifestyle. I remember when I took my brother on his first visit to Italy; this tradition was astonishing to him. The Bars on every corner filled with Italians drinking what he called their ” teaspoon of coffee” was an attraction in itself. To walk by a Bar and not go in is totally impossible to do. The aroma lures you in and you find yourself sipping an expresso without even thinking about it.
It is said that four “Ms“ are key to a good espresso: miscela (blend), macinazione (grind), macchina (machine), and mano (hand).
The term “espresso” was translated from the Italian “esprimere” meaning “pressed out” or “express”. In Italy it is simply called caffé.
An espresso machine forces water at 90 °C (195 °F) and 15 bar of pressure through a puck of finely ground coffee. This produces a rich, beverage by extracting and emulsifying the oils in the ground coffee. An espresso machine also has a steam element, which is used to steam and froth milk for cappuccino and latte.
The flowing list the different types of coffee prepared in a typical Italian Bar.
Caffè or espresso
Decafinato – a decafnated espresso
Ristretto – the espresso amount of coffee with half the water it is very concentrated
Doppio – (“Double”) Double shot of espresso.
Caffè lungo – a long coffee, more water is added and the coffee is weaker
Cappuccino – espresso with steamed milk and foam. Italians drink cappuccino only at breakfast
Macchiato – espresso with just a bit of steamed milk on top
Corretto – espresso with a little liquor, usually Grappa or Sambuca
Latte – short espresso with hot milk
Caffè con zucchero – espresso with sugar. Usually you add your own.
In Italy, sorbetto is served as a dessert but it is wonderful on a beautiful summer afternoon served as a cool flavorful drink. It can be made with many different kinds of liquor and sorbet. I first had this in Milan and in traveling around Italy, found it in many other restaurants. This is a light dessert drink that is wonderful after a meal of heavy flavors or fish.
Sorbetto Al Limone
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 serving
1 cup lemon sorbet (homemade or store bought)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 short glass Vodka
1 slice lemon
Whip the cream to light peaks. Put the sorbet in a blender with the Vodka. Blend and remove to a bowl. Hand mix the whipped cream and sorbet mixture until it is smooth, but foamy and pour into a burgundy wine glass. Place a slice of lemon on the edge of the glass, and just before drinking it squeeze the lemon over the top.
NOTE: Use complementing liquor with a fruit sorbet. This can be done with other fruits such as pears sorbet with Père Williams, green apple sorbet with Calvados, or strawberry sorbet with Fraises.